Ergonomics concerns are as old as civilisation but their present form developed due to user difficulties with complex equipment and new technologies. Novel techniques were needed and the name ergonomics was developed to describe the field.
Its main areas were information perception and cognition, control mechanisms, workplace design, and job skills. In industry, concerns were task analysis, time-and-motion studies, and operator utilisation. To extend this work attention was devoted to anthropometry, work physiology, work psychology, and the work environment.
Later it was broadened to include social and organisational issues, control room design, musculoskeletal injuries, human reliability, training, and health and safety, amongst others.
Areas of application include architecture, consumer products, human-computer interaction, ageing, farming, health, sports and recreation, oil field operations, mining, forensics, education, and artificial intelligence.